Monday, February 15, 2021 – 09:23
American School of Valencia is an international school that offers North American education to local and international families residing in the city of Valencia and its surroundings. The academic program is based on the Common Core standards and English is the vehicular language. Students complete their studies with two academic degrees – the High School Diploma and the Spanish Baccalaureate degree – and can additionally obtain the International Baccalaureate diploma.
The ASV methodology emphasizes communication skills, analytical skills and the formation of critical thinking. To achieve the first of these three objectives, the ASV follows the Reading and Writing Workshop model developed by Columbia University and applied in the stage that goes from Kindergarten (3rd grade) to 5th grade.
Learn to be readers and communicators
Acquiring reading and writing strategies is the key component of the subject called Language Arts and which structures the learning of English as if it were the mother tongue. “A strong foundation in this language will help the student not only in this subject but also in the rest of the curriculum subjects that are taught in English,” describes Amanda Bird, Curriculum Coordinator at ASV.
The methodology avoids the memorization of vocabulary and grammar. His focus is to grow students as readers and writers through leveled books and continued practice of writing, reading, and speaking. “From an early age, students learn to identify the main structures of texts, what are the greatest difficulties they will encounter in them and how they can understand words they do not know or words they know but used in new contexts”, explains BethAnn Kornobis, literacy ASV coach.
The workshop model, applied to secondary and high school
As of sixth grade, the subject is renamed English but follows the Reading and Writing Workshop model and introduces a greater variety of topics and formats. The application at the secondary and high school level has had academic benefits in a relatively short period of time: “We have observed a greater involvement with the content by including the choices of the students and individual or small group teaching. There has also been a improvement of critical and creative thinking skills, “says Ms. Amanda Bird, Curriculum Coordinator at ASV.
This experience has motivated the Reading and Writing Workshop training institute to invite two ASV teachers to give a professional workshop at the end of February 2021. The activity is open to teachers from international schools and schools in the United States who want to apply. the same approach at all levels of the International Baccalaureate.
The ASV experience: an international and multi-lingual community
The ASV offers a continuous program that allows students to take all stages from 20 months to 18 years of age, upon graduation. All subjects in the American curriculum are taught in English with native or bilingual teachers certified for teaching in these programs.
Currently, the school has 850 students of which 30% are international. Among all the students there are 46 different nationalities. In addition to this experience of diversity within the school community itself, the school offers co-curricular programs (Model United Nations debate program, sports and academic exchanges) that promote the formation of an international mindset and open to other cultures.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism